India launches COVID-19 outreach for businesses

Invest India, the Government of India’s national Investment Promotion & Facilitation Agency, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has launched the Invest India Business Immunity Platform

March 24, 2020

The platform will resolve queries related to locations of COVID-19 testing, special permissions, and other location-specific information

Apart from providing comprehensive healthcare assistance, India has announced a US$22.5 billion relief package for the most vulnerable

This platform will also match suppliers with required supplies and for innovators, startups, and MSMEs to showcase their solutions

Within 48 hours of its launch, the platform recorded more than 30,000 visitors from across 40 countries and over 50,000 website hits

Invest India, the Government of India’s national Investment Promotion & Facilitation Agency, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on March 21 launched the Invest India Business Immunity Platform. The key platform, hosted on the Invest India website, is designed as a comprehensive resource to help businesses and investors get real-time updates on India’s active response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

The global pandemic has infected more than 860,000 people in over 180 countries, claiming more than 42,000 lives between December 2019 and March 2020. With a cure believed to be 12-18 months away, the impact of the disease is expected to spread rapidly. This health crisis has disrupted human and goods traffic globally and is now expected to cost the global economy much more than US$1 trillion in 2020. 

The Government of India has taken preemptive and all-encompassing measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. India had enforced a detailed response system at its borders much before WHO declared the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern on January 30. More than 3.6 million incoming passengers were screened at 30 airports, 12 major and 65 minor ports and land borders. 

A platform to drive business continuity

As of March-end, around 1,400 people in India have been reported with Coronavirus while 35 have died in a nation of 1.3 billion. Apart from providing comprehensive healthcare assistance to the citizens, India has announced a US$22.5 billion relief package to help the most vulnerable ride out the crisis. The Invest India Business Immunity Platform will aid that agenda by empowering entrepreneurs and businesses. 

This dynamic and constantly-updating platform will keep a regular track on developments with respect to the virus, provide the latest information on various central and state government initiatives, give access to special provisions, and resolve queries via emails and on WhatsApp. The Business Immunity Platform is an active platform for business issue redressal, operating 24/7, with a team of dedicated sector experts. 

Invest India has also announced a tie-up with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for responding and resolving queries for MSMEs.

While COVID-19 continues to disrupt normal life, the impact of this crisis on businesses across the country is being continuously assessed. The government, for its part, is issuing timely guidelines for businesses. The platform will help explain these guidelines. 

A hub of innovation to tackle COVID-19

The platform will resolve queries related to locations of COVID-19 testing, special permissions, and other location-specific information. It also maps the response system put in place by leading Indian companies related to the sanitation of core infrastructure, access to alternate markets, setting up of medical task force, dissemination of critical instructions, business continuity plan, innovation of online tools, among others.

“This is a platform for all of us to get together in the face of this unprecedented challenge of COVID-19. The team is working towards finding clarifications and solutions in a rapidly evolving scenario, especially from the perspective of business continuity for the business community,” said Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO, Invest India. Meanwhile, the DGFT has opened a help desk for COVID-19 related Export or Import issue.

This platform will also match suppliers with required supplies and for innovators, startups, and MSMEs to showcase their solutions. It will connect entrepreneurs with experts on business strategies. Within 48 hours of its launch, the platform recorded over 30,000 visitors from across 40 countries and over 50,000 hits. The platform is presently working on more than 200 requests for business continuity and immunity.